Spring Hill College Commencement 2015

MOBILE, Ala. – Spring Hill College held its annual commencement exercises Saturday, May 9, on the Avenue of the Oaks.

Live Video

Watch the video on Badger TV

Awards

Toolen Award – presented to the graduating senior who has achieved the highest grade point average during the entire course of study:

  • Madeleine M. LaForge
  • Nicholas D. Smith

Ignatian Awards – presented to the students – one graduating woman and one graduating man – who have best fulfilled the ideals of Jesuit education for scholarship, leadership and service during their four years at Spring Hill College. These are the highest student awards bestowed by the College:

  • Madeleine M. LaForge
  • Matthew H. Keller

Edward B. Moody, S.J., Teacher of the Year Award – made annually to the professor who, in the judgment of a committee composed of a broad cross-section of the academic community, has displayed excellence in the fulfillment of the teaching mission of the college:

  • Dr. Leigh Ann Litwiller Berte, Associate Professor of English

Dawson Research Award is made to the professor who, in the judgment of a faculty committee, has demonstrated excellence in scholarship:

  • Robert C. Harding II, Associate Professor of Political Science

Rewak Award – This award, named in honor of Father William Rewak, former president of the College, recognizes a faculty or staff member who represents in a significant way the Jesuit ideal of service:

  • Dr. Samantha Church, Associate Vice President for Advancement 

Emeriti Faculty

  • Dr. Daniel S. Cyphert
  • Dr. David F. Dean
  • Dr. Michael F. Kaffer
  • Rev. Michael A. Williams, S.J.

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

  • Mr. James D. McKinney

Fons Sapientiae Award

  • John and Mary Lou Barter
  • Rev. Gregory F. Lucey, S.J.

Candidates for Graduation

Master of Arts in Teaching

Carly Ann Blankenship

Bonnie J. Capps

Margaret Duncan Clements

Nicole Koppersmith Dean

Deyetta Rhadesha Johnson

Billie W. Mroz

Elizabeth S. Otts

Mark Tenhundfeld

Shelley Renee Waltz

Master of Business Administration

Hamilton James Carrio

Stephanie Dygico Gapud

Brian Christopher Gay

Heath DeWayne Greene

Luis F. Justiniano

Stephanie Leigh Prescott

Kimberly Frances Schoonover

Dereck Vaughn

Master of Liberal Arts

Sarah Bohnenstiehl

Vinson Joel Bradley

Kendrick Terrell Dunklin

Beverly Gulley

Sharonda Laticia Harris

Jon Robert Host

Shawn-Patrick David Hynes

Adam G. Klipp

Juliann Rose Losey

Brian Joseph Murphy

Rhoda Arleen Pickett

Cecilia Lee Rayford

Mollie Shiffer

Master of Science in Education

Sherrele Brianna Grimes

Jenny N. Laird

Ashley Brooks Martin

Jennifer Poiroux Ward

Master of Science in Nursing

Sarah Ann Carlson

Teresa V. Lanier

Lyle Craig Levesque

Howard Shane Pierce

Amy Elizabeth Potter

Adebisi Sherifat Sanni

Master of Theological Studies

Barry Durand

Mary Catherine Harmon-Christian

Sami B. Jajeh

Eileen Margaret Rettig

Bachelor of Arts

Shea A. Blanchard, Cum Laude

Erin Elizabeth Brennan 

James Britnell 

Marina Brooks 

Jolene G. Bruard, Magna Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Studio Art

Bennett J. Champagne, Magna Cum Laude

Erin L. Claxton 

Andrew Price Cuff 

Raleigh Downs, Magna Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Graphic Design

Alexis Nicole Esneault, Magna Cum Laude, Honors Program

Rachel Elizabeth Failla 

Natalie Marie Finnorn, Magna Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Communication Arts

Benjamin Joseph Fleming 

Alyssa Nicole Fontela, Summa Cum Laude, Honors Program, President’s Scholar in English

Natalie O. Fortune 

Briana Lane Graham 

Tyler Mark Hartlage 

Allyson M. Hill 

Joseph Michael Iacobucci 

Bayle Marie Jenkins 

Christy Jones-Hudson, Cum Laude

Demi Lynn Jordan 

Diego I. Juncadella 

Meeri Kangas Cum Laude

Samuel Keiser 

Ananya Mahajan 

Abby Massengale 

Samantha Elizabeth Maurer, Summa Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Business Administration

Germain McCarthy

Gabrielle Olivia McNair 

Kristin M. Morrell, Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Theater

A. Chase Nassar 

Kamrey D. Nichols 

Nicole Siobhan Pembroke 

Mary Christina Pendergast 

Melissa A. Perdue, Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Sociology

Caroline Rodrigue, Honors Program

John Francis Roorda IV 

Lauren Marie Rubin 

Nicholas Schaefer, Magna Cum Laude, Honors Program, President’s Scholar in History

Groshawn Sellers 

Sarah N. Sherrington 

Michael Joseph Short 

Alexander James Sierra 

Allieriane N. Smith 

Megan Catherine St. Germain, Cum Laude

Patrick B. Sullivan 

Eric Thomas 

Jabulani J. Thompson 

Emily Jane Thorpe 

Haley Troxclair, Cum Laude

Matthew Tusa, Magna Cum Laude

Treston La’Vaughn Watson Tyrues 

Mary Elizabeth Vaché, Cum Laude

Briana K. Vaughn 

Erinn Murphy Vogel 

Jackson Watkins 

Raven Essence West 

MarciAnn M. White 

Robert M. Zacary III 

John Michael Zazulak II 

Bachelor of Science

Katherine Abalos, Cum Laude, Honors Program

Michael Anderson 

Esteban Angel, Cum Laude

John Philip Martin Asmar, Cum Laude

Jesse Augustine, Jr. 

Justin R. Avery 

Cyrus Beermann 

Valerie Bergeron 

Colin Alexander Bodet 

Bria Bohanon 

Molly Terese Booth 

Phillip Boudreaux, Cum Laude

Jade Nicole Bourgeois, Summa Cum Laude

Ashleigh Sheree Boutwell 

Amber M. Bowie 

Joseph T. Brandt 

Elizabeth Ann Bullock 

Shontyeria Sonee' Burks 

Lakittreal P. Campbell 

Loren Anita Campbell 

Ryan Arthur Campbell, Summa Cum Laude, Honors Program

Theresa Renee Carr, Cum Laude, Honors Program

Jane Rita Carriere 

Samuel Allen Chaffee 

Sarah Renee' Cherry 

Justin James Clark 

Demitria Kejuana Coleman 

Willard Patrick Collins 

Mary Elizabeth Anna Crabtree, Honors Program

Jeremy Michael Crowley 

Emily Palmer Crumpler 

Cathy Moncenya Daniels 

Patrick Juston Danner 

Elise Michele deBruler, Magna Cum Laude

Derek Christopher Denz 

Michael Joseph Derbes, Magna Cum Laude

Caroline Talbot Dienes 

S. Keller Douglas, Jr. 

Sara Kathleen Dumas 

Jose Mario Escalante Antelo 

Victoria Marie Fasi 

Nikisha S. Flott 

Benjamin Frenkel 

Andréa Garcés 

Arturo Jorge Garcia Egas, Cum Laude, Honors Program

Dylan John Gardner 

Hannah Elyse Gassie, Summa Cum Laude, Honors Program

Amanda Johvanna Gibbs 

Megan Christine Gietl 

Robert Bo Gipson 

Tatiana Cecilia Gonzalez 

Paul E. Grenet 

Megan Elizabeth Haber, Cum Laude

Samantha Lynne Hantak, Cum Laude

Courtney Harlan, Summa Cum Laude

Elizabeth A. Heffernan, Cum Laude

Brooke Michelle Herren 

Stephen Blake Herrington 

Colin Jacob Hinds 

Sawyer Dane House, Cum Laude

Sarah Hovell, Magna Cum Laude

Jackson McCall Howard, Magna Cum Laude

Falon K. Humphries 

Mason Scott Hutson 

Santina Cierra Johnson 

Jasmine A. Jones 

Shardena Alunté Jones 

Matthew Hall Keller, Summa Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Biology

Kenzie S. Kelly 

John C. Kendrick, Jr. 

Adrienne E. Kicker 

Conner Christian Kirkikis, Cum Laude

Walker William Kirkikis 

William M. Kitchin 

James Lewis Kizziah, Summa Cum Laude, Honors Program, President’s Scholar in Chemistry

Nicole K. Kocher 

Virginia Kathleen Kosteck 

Kathleen Elizabeth Kuehl 

Richard Blake LaForce 

Madeleine LaForge, Summa Cum Laude, Honors Program, President’s Scholar in Theology

Whitney Lee Lambeth, Cum Laude, Honors Program

Francis H. Larose III 

John Patrick Lauber 

Emma Catherine Laurentius, Cum Laude

Karen LeBlanc, Magna Cum Laude

Victoria Jolie LeBlanc 

Stephanie DeAnn Lee, Summa Cum Laude

Michael Levy 

Clare Marie Lynch 

Justin Alexander Martin, Cum Laude

Richard E. Martin, Jr. 

Tychicus Joseph McCants 

Kimberly Baird McCoy, Magna Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Continuing Studies

Alexis Marie McGruder 

Haley M. McHugh, Magna Cum Laude

Mary Catherine McKinley, Magna Cum Laude, Honors Program, President’s Scholar in Hispanic Studies

Jonathan R. McLachlan, Cum Laude

Leah Rebecca McLarty 

Rachel LeAnn McMullen 

Harrison Ryan McNab, Cum Laude

Taylor Victoria McNab 

Olivia Claire McNulty, Cum Laude

Roy Austin Moulder IV, Cum Laude

Tanyi Alexander Mubang 

Gregory John Overbeek, Magna Cum Laude, Honors Program, President’s Scholar in Psychology

Trevell Douglas Perdue 

Flora Pettway 

Daniel John Piper 

Ricardo Andres Pita Macedo, Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Political Science and Law

Michael Nelson Pollak 

Clayton Peter Ponseti 

Jordan T. Portal 

Alan Christopher Prine 

Austin Charles Puntila, Summa Cum Laude, Honors Program, President’s Scholar in Secondary Education

Jordan Michael Rogers 

John Benen Russell 

Julie Ryan, Magna Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Financial Economics

Ryan Michael Sanchez, Summa Cum Laude

Salvador Sanchis VII 

Eric C. Schwing, Jr. 

Kyle Patrick Shannon 

Arron Ross Shirazi 

Kiarica J. Smith 

Nicholas Daniel Smith, Summa Cum Laude, Honors Program, President’s Scholar in Mathematics

Mason G. Stanley, Cum Laude

Kacie Louise Staples 

Ryan Stevens 

Jillian Taliancich

Tiffany Lynn Thomas, Magna Cum Laude, Honors Program, President’s Scholar in Writing

Astrid Carolina Torres 

Leland Tracy 

Elissa Barbara VandeWaa, Magna Cum Laude

Hayley Kristen Vierling, Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Computer Information Systems

Sarah Voorhees 

Catherine Wanschek 

Zachary Ty Ward 

Ashlea Ruth-Dean Wattenbe, Cum Laude

Taylor Ann Webre, Summa Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Accounting

Bianca Maggie White 

Regan Elizabeth Williams 

Samantha Leigh Wills, Magna Cum Laude

Twarner Witherspoon 

Hannah Elizabeth Yarbrough, Magna Cum Laude

Amanda Leigh Yestrumsky, Magna Cum Laude, President’s Scholar in Early Childhood/Elementary Education

Patricia A. Young 

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Jasmini Neena Bowen, President’s Scholar in Nursing

Margaret Fox

Haley Melaine Funderburg

Madeline Ann Galen

Mary Kate Gallagher

Victoria Cole Hudson

Jaclyn Kurcab

Kathleen Michelle Lursen

Laura E. McGinn

Elise Caroline Michaelis

Amber Nicole Rowland

Margaret Anne Schladenhauffen

Carolina Maria Tejera

Kayla Watkins

Tamara Terrell Yeldell

Farewell Address to Class of 2015

Alyssa N. Fontela, Senior Class Orator

Father Lucey, Archbishop Rodi, faculty, family, friends, and most importantly, the Spring Hill College Class of 2015:

On the eve of freshman year, we slid into the pews of St. Joe’s chapel for the Mass of the Holy Spirit, craning our necks for glimpses of one another – future friends, roommates, classmates, and most importantly, Spring Hill family.  The mass is a tradition to welcome new badgers to the Hill, into the folds of a remarkable Jesuit community. Brimming with excitement and pangs of nervousness, we finally quieted down when Father Salmi took the pulpit.  Salmi held up a tiny set of speakers which quivered with raised voices singing a song from the musical Rent:

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets

In midnights, in cups of coffee

In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife

In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure, a year in the life?

He challenged us from the altar to take the lyrics to heart – to immerse ourselves in our time on the Hill, to make every second count.  Time, he told us, is a universal, inescapable phenomenon; [however,] it is how we fill this time that sets each of us apart.  How would we, the class of 2015, measure the two million one hundred two thousand four hundred minutes we have spent as Spring Hill Badgers?

As the song says we measure it In Daylights…

It is in the daylight, the everyday we spent our first waking moments on the Hill, learning a routine for success, crossing paths for the first time.  Strangers turned into classmates then into friends.  We soon found ourselves late to lectures because we were too busy waving to people to keep track of time, or cramming five tables together in the caf to fit everyone.  In the daylight hours we wore Greek Letters, Awakening shirts, sports jerseys, and finally, our honor chords.  We slowly changed, turning towards daylight, sharing the light within ourselves.

We measure it in sunsets

Daylights faded into sunsets.  As old chapters slipped beneath the horizon, new ones rose within minutes.  And so we learned to watch sunsets – carving our names beneath the cupola, playing a round on the golf course, swaying in hammocks on Rydex, or making one last snow angel in the midst of Snow-mageddon.  Surrounded by the raw beauty of God’s creation, we cherished our endings, splashing them across a purple sky – across our own personal canvases.  As the final rays vanished, and stars twinkled overhead, we looked around at newfound friends and mentors, realizing we never once watched a sunset alone.
We measure it in midnights

Prime library time – that’s what midnights are: An epic battle for study rooms when it was time to agonize over papers, seminars, exams…paper cuts and ink stains were badges of honor – our valiant efforts to act as students first.

But we managed to occasionally escape – to our favorite downtown haunts whether art walks or bars.  We made a night of it – filling midnights with each other, with memories.  As the hour drew to a close, we huddled in McKinney’s or nearby Waffle House, recounting escapades, living in the moment, letting time stand still.

We measure it in cups of coffee

Purchases at Carpe, Starbucks, Satori, or Java were much more than pocket change slid across the counter – we didn’t just invest in beverages, we invested in time with one another. Time to confide, to wonder, to argue, and to laugh.  Mugs overflowed with future plans, fears, and the knowledge that the person sitting across from you was listening until the last drop was drained.  Maybe it wasn’t a cup of coffee, maybe it was a conversation in a dorm room, a professor’s office, or on the steps of St. Joe’s. We found our very closest friends who showed us glimpses of different worlds, of the people we would become.

We measure it in inches

Our parents used to mark our heights on doorways, marveling at how much we’d grown.  Would there be enough doorway to show how far we’ve stretched at the Hill and beyond?  Habitat builds, food drives, hospital visits, coastal clean-ups, tutoring, clubs…our class reached out to the Mobile community, immersing ourselves by working alongside neighbors, growing in solidarity with others.  Inch by inch, moment by moment, we grew in awareness, in action – engaging in learning, faith, justice and service for life.

We measure it in miles

Literal miles.

Whether to Nicaragua, Italy, Morocco, Jamaica, or the Balkans, we’ve traveled the world, and realized this bubble, this precious campus, is a tiny place holder amidst thousands of dots on the map.  We left our comfort zones, met refugees, professors, travelers, friends – faces that will never fade, people with their own dots on the map, their own Spring Hills.

As students, we come together no matter the distance: Ecuador, Louisiana, or here in Mobile.  We bring each other home for Christmas, for Mardi Gras, for getaway weekends, integrating into faraway lives – becoming family.  As we leave Spring Hill, we know we will be bound by our experiences, not kept apart by the miles between us.

We measure it in laughter and strife                                

It’s the laughter, the kind words of fellow badgers that kept us afloat when we changed majors, lost loved ones, or tried to discern the future.  Through struggles, people learn – and so may we never stop struggling.  In the end, it is how not the fall which defines who we are, it is how we get back up.  However, none of us could have risen, could have picked ourselves back up if not for the time our families and faculty invested in us. Thank you faculty for spending your time in the classroom, office hours, and beyond to mentor and guide us.  Thank you for teaching us education is an everyday vocation to others, an investment in others.  Thank you parents not only for the past four years, but also for the lifetime you share with us.  Thank you for climbing countless stairs on move-in day, always answering phone calls home, and believing in our ability to succeed.   As all of you invested time in us, we too will invest time in ourselves and those we meet.   

If Father Salmi could see the class of 2015 today, he would be incredibly proud of how we’ve spent our minutes and measured our time at Spring Hill College.  Today, we change from undergraduates to alumnae, and just like we carved our names beneath the cupola, we leave an impression on this remarkable place.  We cannot know what the future holds, only that we are prepared for the journey.  Badgers we have been, Badgers we will always be.  All that remains is a familiar question:

In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

How will we measure, the years to come in our lives?